There’s life in the old boy yet
He may be leaving the European Central Bank in under two months but Jean-Claude Trichet’s tenacious performance at Thursday’s ECB news conference showed there is still fire in the belly of Mr. Euro.
Rattled by comments from a German journalist that, behind closed doors his country was starting to think about ditching the euro and going back to the deutsche mark, Trichet exploded. (for video clip of rant click http://reut.rs/olO9V7)
“Can I remind us that in 2004 and 2005, some important governments in Europe were asking for weakening the Stability and Growth Pact. Do you remember that?”
“And do you remember which governments were asking for weakening the Stability and Growth Pact? The three big governments of Europe, including of course France, Germany and Italy.”
The message was clear. Germany is one of the countries that got the euro zone into this mess, so it shouldn’t now be complaining and talking about going back to the D-mark.
The fact Trichet lost his customary French cool can be interpreted in one of two ways. The first is that it clearly touched a raw nerve, suggesting Trichet knows it may not be too far from the truth.
The second is more positive for the euro-fighters, showing that he and the ECB are still up for the fight and up for it in a big way.